Join us in the Virtual Readings Gallery for an event with one of our favorite local historians, Brian Griffin. Order your signed copy of The Donovan Diaries exclusively from Village Books. Or you can swing by the Donovan statue bench on the corner of 11th and Harris on Saturday the 26th and get your book signed by the author! Brian Griffin will be at the bench between 12pm-4pm, Saturday, September 26.
John Joseph Donovan was a man born of common clay who lived the American dream, rising to great heights of achievement, wealth, and community affection. Donovan lived a storied life illuminated in this fascinating book by the discovery of his diaries long hidden in an old steamer trunk in Sag Harbor, New York.
*Cover art by Ben Mann
Brian Griffin is a Bellingham Washington native. Born in 1932 at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital, he has lived most of his life on the city’s South Hill. Educated at the Campus School, Bellingham High School and Whitman College, he has enjoyed a life of rich and varied experiences. Shortly after the gunfire ceased in the Korean war, he arrived in Inchon as a Special Agent in the US Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps. Upon his return from Korea and his army discharge he married Marya Drew, his wife of 64 years, and joined his father Earle Griffin’s insurance business. During his 35 years as an Insurance Broker he helped to found Griffin Garrett Johanson & Schacht and The Unity Group. His business activities included being a founding partner in The Children’s Company, a large retailer of children’s goods, and creating Knox Cellars Native Bee Pollinators, introducing the Orchard Mason Bee to the nation. He has written three books about the natural world. The Orchard Mason Bee, Humblebee Bumblebee, and Beulah, his tale of a childhood experience with a pet crow.
Long interested in history, The Donovan Diaries is his fifth local history book. The others are My Darling Anna, Boulevard Park, Treasures from the Trunk, and Fairhaven, A History.
His civic activities include leading the movements to build the downtown Parkade, Fairhaven Village Green, and Depot Market Square. For many years he has narrated the Whatcom Museum’s Sunset History Cruises and remains an active docent at the museum. He was honored with the “Living Treasure“ award at the Mayor’s Arts Award ceremony in 2015.
At 87, he can still be found on most days in his basement workshop crafting custom ukuleles that he sells worldwide through his website griffinukuleles.com.